Monday, May 30, 2011

Body Acne Causes and Effects


What Causes Back and Body Acne?

Body acne is caused by the same factors that trigger facial acne: overactive oil glands, excess dead skin cells, and a proliferation of acne-causing bacteria. Oil and dead skin cells become trapped within the follicle, or pore, and create a blockage. This blockage becomes a blackhead and may progress to a pimple, if bacteria invade.

Body acne is generally confined to the back and upper torso. Like the face, these areas have more sebaceous glands per square inch than other areas of the body, so the follicles are more likely to become plugged with excess sebum and dead skin cells.

It's not likely that certain articles of clothing or gear cause body acne. However, the friction caused by certain apparel may aggravate existing cases of body acne. Rubbing or pressure on the skin can irritate already inflamed follicles and exacerbate breakouts. It's best to avoid sources of friction when you're trying to heal body acne. Sources of friction include: tight-fitting clothing, too-snug collars, backpacks, purse straps, and athletic pads or gear. Students, especially, may want to carry their books in a hand held bag, instead of wearing a heavy backpack.

Sweat can also irritate body acne. To minimize irritation, shower as soon as possible after exercising. Do not scrub the skin, even with a loofah or body puff. Remember, you want to avoid friction. A thorough, but gentle cleansing -- preferably with a salicylic acid wash -- is better than a vigorous scrubbing.

Effects of Body Acne

Like facial acne, body acne can fill its sufferers with a sense of shame and embarrassment. Many patients take great pains to cover affected areas. Clothing is chosen so as to reveal as little breakouts as possible. Tank tops and sleeveless shirts are passed up. Women may take special care to make sure their shirts aren't cut so low as to reveal acne on the chest. Men with back acne will often avoid taking off their shirts altogether.

Even participation in recreational hobbies or activities can be limited because of discomfort about the skin. Activities, such as swimming, are often not done. Body acne can be especially hard on teens when they must undress in locker rooms.

Physically, body acne can also cause deep scarring. The greater the inflammation, the higher the chance for developing lasting scars.

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